Plumbing in the Home/Hot Water too Hot

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Question
QUESTION: Hi,
When I go away on a trip for several days, I turn off my hot water heater.
When I got back from my latest trip, turned the power back on and the hot water was very hot.  I turned down the thermostat (top and bottom) to lower temps.  Eventually the water was cold.  I checked and saw that the reset button had "popped".  I pushed it back in (with the power off) and did get hot water but very hot again.  I have the thermostat at about their lowest levels.
It is a 47 gallon state industries water heater.  It does have two thermostats.

ANSWER: Matt
Make sure the thermostats are making a good solid contact with the tank surface. set the t-stats to a normal temp. When electric heaters fire up from a cold start, the upper element heats up first then power switches to the lower to completely heat the tank. Electric heaters are finicky . They need time to equalize. If you are still having problems and you are sure the t-stats are making good contact or if the reset keeps tripping then replace them.


j

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Jay...not sure I want to start playing around with the thermostats with all that voltage going on.  I did some reading about checking with voltage meters (even after shutting off the breaker), which I don't have so I may just go ahead and call someone to come out and take a look.
Any suggestions on what a service call, possibly the cost of replacing the thermostats should run?
Matt

Answer
Matt, I can only tell you what it would cost here in NY. First, T-stats usually last a good long time so the chance of them being  shot is rather slim. Service calls up here range from $40 to $100 bucks depending on how they calculate the charge. Some charge a service call rate then add a trip charge others have a flat rate  plus parts. Ask your friends and neighbors who they use and trust. There are a lot of shady guys out there ripping people off. I only say this because it's these guys that give the trade a black eye. Plumbers are usually stereo-typed as over priced slobs but the service they provide is absolutely essential to everyday life.  

Plumbing in the Home

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Jay Nicholas

Expertise

Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)

Experience

40 years in the business, 35 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Education/Credentials
Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

Past/Present Clients
Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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